Sometimes "Goodbye" Takes a Really Long Time

I hope the people that love me want to be around me. And I hope the reason they want to be around me is simply because they choose to for no other reason than they like who I am, or maybe because it is just easy to. I wouldn’t want a life where people cling to me because I have something to hold over their heads, or because they are too afraid of me for some reason, or simply out of nothing more than perceived obligation.
As I write this, my biological father is dying  —  possibly in his last few days. I will not go see him. This is not an act of defiance, revenge, meanness, or some measure of something like any of that. I realize it may seem like it to some, and I am fine with that. Mostly. I suppose they are entitled to their uninformed opinions. I no longer have anything to prove or figure out. I am not going because my father blew it, and he blew it really big, and more than once. I said my final goodbye to him a few years ago, and I was fully aware at the time of all that meant and encompassed. I still feel I am, but I am realistic enough to understand that full awareness won’t come until he is literally gone. So for now, I feel complete.
am steeped in my thoughts, however. I find myself drenched in my memories of my angry, pissed off, self-righteous twenties; swirling around in my bewildered, self-discovering, transitional thirties; reminiscing and touching my transformational, self-loving, strengthened, liberating forties. But I am not really wanting to be here today — 51. At once, I feel I wouldn’t change any of it, but am left wondering how I could have changed some of it so that I could have wanted to be with my father. The word “Dad” when I refer to him no longer comfortably, naturally rolls off my tongue. His other children, my half siblings, made the trek from the East Coast to be with him. (We are in California.) They have somehow remained in his good graces. I shudder to think what parts of their souls they had to give up to remain there. Or perhaps they are cut from the same cloth. Perhaps it is a combination. It is just conjecture on my part, and I cannot honestly say that I know. Whatever the case, what I do know for a fact is that in order to remain in step with people, we have to be in some sort of agreement with them, spoken or not.
What I am left with is that it did not have to be this way, and that is the disappointing part. That burn is cooled by knowing there was nothing more that I could do — well, nothing more that I could do without turning into someone I wouldn’t like. I won’t sell myself short to assuage someone else’s control issues, or perpetuate their appetite for verbal cruelty, or live into someone else’s lies about who they think I am or should be. I will not change myself, injure my soul, in order to live into someone else’s needs for power. I will not ever succumb to lies told about me to help someone else look better and more powerful. I simply will not trek with that perpetuating party. So what I am left with at the end of the day, every day, is just myself. Me. And I have been okay with this for a very long time. The lie we tell ourselves is that we are left with more than that, and we try really hard for it to be more than that. When my father leaves this realm, he is going by himself. For all of the controlling and manipulating he has done for so long, and no matter how many might be by his bedside, he will be alone when he goes. That is the way of it.
I think I will always have this feeling of “it didn’t have to be this way” and “what an incredible waste of time.” It was not always this way between my father and me. I was “Daddy’s Little Girl” for sure —  the apple of his eye. I thought he was so handsome, so strong, so smart, so kind  — and then I got older and developed a mind of my own. I began to see things for myself, to hear things and understand what I was hearing from a more developed awareness. I grew my own voice, not of my mother’s or father’s teachings, but from my own thoughts. This was the beginning of a new relationship with my father, and it was one he would never accept. It was hard at first because I could not understand how someone so outspoken refused to understand why I would be so outspoken. Didn’t he see that he taught me to be this way? Wow, the irony! There is so much more to this of course, but it is pointless. Perhaps it will show up in another writing one day. So here we are.
Had I to go back and do it all over again though, I do not see it ending any differently. I can only move on and find the lesson. I do not subscribe to “everything happens for a reason.” I used to believe that, and then some terrible things happened, and I realized that a God of love would not cause terrible things to happen. The God of love that I believe in deals in “NOW.” So I understand that it is up to me to find the lessons for myself. Some are obvious immediately, and some come years later. But I will always be open, and I will always seek out the lesson even if it means creating one.
What I have learned in my 30-year (so far) inquiry is that I have to let people be who they are, just as they are. If I have something I want to teach or share, teach or share it gently, and only when it comes from a place of love —  never power or control. Some things I have learned from my father are because of him, and others are in spite of him. Others I learned from my mother in contrast. I have learned to use my voice, but I had to teach (and am still teaching) myself how to use it constructively and without force. I have learned to let my children be exactly who they are, even when I do not approve or agree. That leaves me free to just love them. I have learned that love does not have a price or a bounty. I have learned that it is my responsibility to show up for my children, no matter how old they are. I have learned that I cannot actually control others, and that I actually do not want to control anyone else. I have learned that I have no rights or responsibility over anyone’s happiness but my own. And… sometimes “goodbye” takes a really long time. 



Lastly, what I have learned is:

In our kitchen as a reminder. 🙂

and nothing more — ever.

What I want to leave you with is hope. I want the readers to know, because it may come across a certain way in a brief blog post that separation from my father was easy or perhaps a quick process, or like I just said, “F_ it,” and walked away one day. It was none of those, and neither was it ever the desired outcome. It was simply necessary. I suspect you may be thinking, “Where is the hope in that?” It is right where it has always been and has always belonged. It is within ME, just as for you it would be within. When we lose hope, we perpetuate the family secrets, the family lies, tragedies, violence, abuses, etc. When we realize the hope is within, as individuals, as separate entities, we begin to do life on our own terms. This is how hope lives, and this is how we change future family dynamics. Go love your people without terms, without contract, without force. You will get all that back exponentially.
Do you, but with love and kindness, and no other intention. It all works out without all the unnecessary pain and struggling.  The clue to when you are on the wrong path is when you are wearing yourself out (and possibly the people around you)!
Not nearly “The End.”
Debora Lynn

Dear Friend, I See You

Dear Friend,
I know you are struggling with some issues in your life right now.  I know you have some big concerns that are weighing on you.  I see and feel that you are hurting.
I want you to know that it is all going to be okay.  Really.  It may not feel acceptable in this moment, but if you take care of yourself it is all going to work out.  It may not be the way you want it to look or think it might look, but there is going to be something there for your higher good.  Be patient and I promise you it will reveal itself.  Be open for good to show up in spite of what is going on right now.  Love yourself more than your attachment to your circumstances. 
If your past is hurting you, I want you to consider that it is no longer happening. Whatever was done is done.  It is no longer hurting you; hanging onto it is what is hurting.  Take charge and drop that hurt on the spot and gently step forward.  Now pat yourself on the back.  This is enough for today.  Tomorrow, take another easy step forward without looking at what you dropped off.  Take a moment for a self-hug and breathe.  Purpose to care more for yourself than the hurt you were holding onto.
If you are hurting someone, consider that you are also bringing that into your own life.  The reasons don’t matter because what you are ushering into your life is the same regardless of the reasons.  Haven’t you hurt enough? It’s up to you. You are in charge of ALL of it.  Own your experience. It is, whether or not you want it, your responsibility.  The sooner you see this, the sooner you can surrender all of it.  Love yourself more.
Surrender to that which you claim you want.  Claim and own that you are peace, that you are love, that you are trust, that you are harmony, etc.  Set an example for yourself.  The rest will follow your lead.  This is how it works.
So I see you today, and I want you to know that you are not alone.  I want you to know there is a way out that will leave you whole and wholly fulfilled.  Be willing.  Be open.  Be receptive.  Be honest.  Above all, love yourself bigger than what is going on around you.  No one has the power to take that away from you, except you, and no one has the ability to give you that kind of love except you!  That is the truth.
What are you waiting for?
With great love,
Debora Lynn




There’s Always You

They Better Recognize!
There will be those for whom you will never be enough, and that’s okay!  It’s okay because they probably aren’t enough for themselves anyway.  They are already torturing themselves without even realizing it.  Resist participation in the “Not Enough” game.
There will be those that will say one thing to you when they’re happy with you, and turn around and say the exact opposite when they aren’t.  Resist the confusion by this confused person.  It’s a ploy to pull you into their snare.  Do not enter.  You don’t need them to tell you what’s right and what’s wrong about you.  If you listen to your heart, you already know the truth of the matter.
There will be those who will intentionally say or do things to hurt you.  Let’s be clear, this person is a bully.  It may indeed hurt, but that doesn’t mean they are right.  Let someone you trust know how you are being treated just as fast and as often as you can.  Don’t keep this perpetrator’s secrets about who they are, and stop buying into the secrets you are beginning to believe about yourself.  This is how they feed!  Don’t believe the negative ad campaign, and don’t feed the monsters.
There will be those that will fall short of their promises to you.  I’m not talking about false promises; I’m talking about promises made before they had any idea of what the follow-through would have to be.  “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” sometimes means that person can’t hold up to their lofty promises.  Frustrating, yes, but it means nothing – absolutely nothing – about you.
There will be those who will offer to loan you money, or do other favors for you in order to have some control in and over your life.  This is one way they keep you “loyal.”  Do not deal with this person, and do not be this person.  Favors should be from the heart with no expectation of the receiver.  (And, no, I’m not talking about the legalities of a money loan.  I am speaking about  your personhood.)
Predators are everywhere, and they aren’t just of the violent and/or sexual nature.  If someone purposes to bring you down, they are preying on you.  Recognize when someone is doing this to you, and don’t fall for it.  They are lonely down there and wish you harm for their own gain. 
There will be those that discount your feelings, your health, your struggles.  Believe in yourself and don’t let these issues define you. As well, don’t let what people refuse to understand define you either.  Break free from their thinking.
There will be those that are just simply unhappy, angry people. They will create things to blame on you, and they will incite your belief and bewilderment in their story.  If it sounds outlandish, it is!  You can NEVER be responsible for someone else’s happiness.  An unhappy person will be unhappy no matter where they go or whose company they keep.  Notice that unhappiness just follows these people.  You truly never will be enough of anything for these types.  If they can’t make themselves happy, they also cannot make YOU happy.  Also, do not depend on someone else for your own happiness.  You own this one for yourself, like it or not, as do they.
If you can’t physically distance yourself from these kinds of people, at least do not allow them to take up space for free in your thoughts, as your thoughts are at the forefront of your well-being.  Do not allow their insidious nature to take over.  You guard your heart and mind through your thoughts.  Someone may be able to take over physical space, but only you hold the key to your thoughts.  Don’t give it away, and keep these people out of your head.  This you do have 100% control over.
Now it’s up to you! (It always has been, actually.)
I say these things so matter-of-factly, I know.  It is work to be on guard and to be our own biggest advocate, but the payoff is freedom and power.  A very important piece of this is also recognizing the people in your life that are good for you, that love you just because they do.  These are the people that you want to surround yourself with.  These are the people that are worthy of your time, caring, and concern.  The more you surround yourself with these people, the less space there is for the others.  This is what being responsible for yourself looks like.  It’s up to you to be different.  If you’re waiting around for people around you to change, you’re on the wrong track.  Be responsible.  Nothing changes until your own thoughts and actions do.
Are you keeping that friend around who hurts your feelings or never shows up for you?  Why?  Are you keeping that potential suitor around just in case another better one doesn’t come along?  Why?  Are you still going to the family gatherings only to be treated like a stepchild?  Why?  In the pretend act of not hurting someone else’s feelings, what do you think you are doing to yourself?  Certain situations may be unavoidable at times, but that’s when I refer you back to guarding your thoughts!
We have this fairy tale that we aren’t responsible for how our lives turn out.  This tale allows us to ignore responsibility and refuse to take action, which oddly enough IS action and shows up all over our lives.  All you have to do is look at how your life is going, and I’m not talking about how you coordinate it to look on the outside.  I’m talking about your real life – how it looks from the inside.  We all know a horrible person whose life looks like it is unfairly working out so well for them.  (Someone just popped into your head, right?)  But trust me, were you able to be in their skin, it is not that at all.  So watch out for that envy!  The shiny things aren’t always what you think, and there is a price to be paid.

You are your best asset!
My Papa told me once to listen only to me in the end.  He said that people’s opinions were only worthwhile up until they start making you feel bad, vs. making you think.  As usual, he was right.  Of course. (Smile.)  I have come to understand this better as I get older and have become more practiced at it.  I was 13 when we had this talk, and dealing with some bullies at school.  I was feeling very unsure of myself, and he was very clear to me that the girls that were hating on me and bullying me were very unhappy people and wanted to make an example out of me and a few other friends.  He was very clear with me that I should not turn around and be that way to someone else in order to fit in or make myself feel better as they were doing to me.  He was also very honest and enlightened me to the fact that these people would always be around, and the best thing I could do was trust in myself.  He and my mother both taught me that being a happy person in spite of it was the best medicine.
There will be moments when you perceive that you are all you have.  You just have to remember that indeed you do!  




Divide and Conquer

Do you think you are separate?
An island unto yourself.
Do you listen to your monkey mind
Telling you that you are different,
That you are inferior, superior, that you don’t belong?
That you belong over there with them…
With your own kind?
There you are standing alone
Pretending to be stronger for it.
Sticking with your look-alikes, your sound-alikes, your do-alikes.
Are you now stronger
Remaining stagnant in your space
Pretending to do good while judging how “they” are?
A do-gooder for self
A do-gooder for same
Fooled, foolish, and foolishly gained.
You speak of changing the world,
Of how awful the world is.
You have travelled the world
Know your community inside and out
Yet remain stuck in your spot
Stuck in the same circle.
A circle with no end
That repeats itself with no break
A never-ending cycle that goes nowhere.
You can’t fly if you don’t spread your wings.
You can’t see newly if you don’t move.
Move over, move up, but move!
You are complaining about how “they” are.
Judging and insisting on change
While you stand with your ilk and remain paralyzed on the spot.
You don’t like the view “over there”
On the other side
Where “they” are.
Have you looked at you from over there?
Your own mire is so comfortable
You don’t see the division within it too.
You’re wide-eyed looking over there to claim to see
But really to examine all the failures and point
While you have your blinders on inside your circle.
Yeah, keep yourself separate, divided.
Keep telling yourself you are doing good
Making things better, a better life
For you and yours
While you divide and conquer….
                                                 Conquered and divided.

by Debora Lynn Garcia